Support For Nuclear Energy Highest Than Ever in Finland

Support for nuclear power in Finland is higher than ever, according to a survey commissioned by the Finnish Energy Industry Association to Kantar Public.

60% of respondents have positive opinions about nuclear power (34% completely positive and 26% broadly positive), and only 11% are negative (3% completely negative and 8% broadly negative). The data were collected in April 2022. Support for nuclear power has been measured continuously since 1983, and this spring, the result marked a new record in the history of measurements.

Climate change has long been one of the key factors behind the popularity of nuclear power. A majority, 62%, saw nuclear power as crucial to mitigating climate change.

Awareness of climate change is an important reason why support for nuclear power has been rising for several years. Now the support seems to have been further boosted by the rising price of fossil energy and the need to break away from energy cooperation with Russia. Self-sufficiency in energy production is a rather popular idea in these circumstances.

said Jari Kostama, Production Director at the Finnish Energy Industry Association. –

The survey was conducted just before Fennovoima’s decision to end its cooperation with Rosatom, but Kostama does not believe that the divestment will have a negative effect on support for nuclear power. – Maybe the opposite, Kostama says.

With the start-up of Olkiluoto-3, emissions from Finnish electricity production will fall to an even lower level than before. Last year, the share of zero-emission electricity was 87%, and next year it is expected to rise to more than 90%.

The growth of nuclear power will bring more domestic electricity, self-sufficiency and security of supply to the market. The need for electricity will increase significantly in the coming years as fossil fuels are replaced by clean electricity in transport, heating and industry.

People are also interested in the development of technology. In addition to existing large nuclear power plants, small modular reactors (SMRs) are being developed for multiple purposes, not only to generate electricity.

In Finland, small reactors have potential, especially in reducing emissions from the heating sector. SMRs can support the achievement of Finland’s climate target and at the same time provide a secure supply of heat and electricity. Legislation should therefore help to encourage new investments.

says Annina Alasaari, the Energy Industry Association’s nuclear power expert.

The popularity of nuclear power is also affected by the fact that Finland is the first to have a final disposal solution for spent nuclear fuel. Posiva’s Onkalo will be completed in the mid-2020s. Spent fuel is to be placed in bedrock to a depth of approximately 430 meters and to be isolated from living nature with multiple safety solutions.

Translated from the original Finnish Energy Industry Association Press Release “Ydinvoiman suosio ennätyslukemissa” (in Finnish).